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Author Topic: Did you know you can legally own a cable descrambler?
Cowboy Bebop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Here's the body of it:

quote:
Did you know it is now perfectly legal for you to own your own cable box?


The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 makes it very clear that you are allowed to own and use third party cable boxes!

You may view the FCC FAQ concerning this Act at:

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/News_Releases/nrcb4009.txt

In this text you will find that it says: "Cable operators may
not prevent customers from using their own cable box if such
equipment is technically compatible with the cable system."


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Don't decide now if this cable box is right for you. just check it out. try it free for 90 days! At worst you'll get your money back. If you decide not to keep it for any reason, just send it back within 90 days for a full refund no questions asked!



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What I found intesresting was the FCC link. Uh, any explanation to the matter?
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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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"So, You've Decided to Steal Cable."

Silas ("D'Oh!")

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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So you've decided not read what this is really saying.

When you purchase cable, you are paying a fee to have the line turned on so that it feeds into your house. Works the same as phone service.

With phone service, it used to be that you had to by the phone from the phone company. Cable companys similarly make you think you need to buy or lease the cable box from them.

Legally, you can get the box from anyone, but you still have to pay for the cable service.

Beach...no stealing involved nor any free lunches, just a few dollars shaved off the monthly bill...Life!

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Midway-Rare Burger Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Takes less then five minuets to install...

Wow, when the cable guy did my house he had to do 3 waltzes and a foxtrot! [Big Grin]

Midway "won't the cable guys see the wire going to your house?" Bill

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FaithHopeLove
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Midway Bill: You crack me up. Seriously. Almost every post. [Smile]

Beach Life: Silas is referring to a Simpson's episode. Homer's favorite book is a pamphlet titled "So you've decided to steal cable."


"Myth: Cable piracy is wrong. Fact: Cable companies are big faceless corporations, which makes it ok. Myth: It's only fair to pay for quality first-run movies. Fact: Most movies shown on cable get two stars or less and are repeated ad nauseum." -- The "So You've Decided to Steal Cable" pamphlet


Faith "So, you've decided to misinterpret someone's post" Love

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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And while on the very topic of "spam" E-mails vis-a-vis "legal cable-TV descramblers" and suchlike, you may want to read this essay on my quasi-legendary website discussing such in the form of an Ed, Edd 'n Eddy fanfic.

--------------------
"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As a former minion (linesman) of the the Cable TV Industry I can assure that the text in the OP is only "technically" correct.

Yes, you can legally use your own descrambler to recieve premium channels. However, you're still legally required to compensate the cable company for that content (at the same rate charged if you were using their box). Failure to do so is stealing and is actionable both civilly and criminally.

There seems to be this silly notion that the bulk of the cable company's charges are for "rental" or use of their box. That's not true. Most of what you are paying for is the content (recent films, sporting events, concerts, etc) which the cable company isn't getting for free either.

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Beach Life:
So you've decided not read what this is really saying.

When you purchase cable, you are paying a fee to have the line turned on so that it feeds into your house. Works the same as phone service.

With phone service, it used to be that you had to by the phone from the phone company. Cable companys similarly make you think you need to buy or lease the cable box from them.

Legally, you can get the box from anyone, but you still have to pay for the cable service.

Beach...no stealing involved nor any free lunches, just a few dollars shaved off the monthly bill...Life!

This is a little misleading. What we're talking about here is folks signing up for a basic package and then using a descrambler to upgrade their service without compensating the cable company for it.

(Usually) When your house is hooked up to cable all the channels are sent to your TV, even if you only ordered the minimum. The other channels are there, they're just scrambled.

Like I said in my first post, you're mostly paying for content, not for wires and equipment.

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BlackForge
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Ursa Major:
This is a little misleading. What we're talking about here is folks signing up for a basic package and then using a descrambler to upgrade their service without compensating the cable company for it.

(Usually) When your house is hooked up to cable all the channels are sent to your TV, even if you only ordered the minimum. The other channels are there, they're just scrambled.

Like I said in my first post, you're mostly paying for content, not for wires and equipment.

Were I live. When the cable compain find you have one of these boxs. They will put a filter on the line at the pole. So you can only get what you paid for. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
Posts: 1152 | From: Somewere | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Goes-hmmm, seersucker suit
The Red and the Green Stamps


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How are they going to find out you have one of these boxes? Search your house? Plant a video camera so they can see what you are watching? Get your neigbors to report you? Believe me, if you are stealing their signal, they will prosecute for "Theft of Services", at least they do around here.

Despite the scare tactics and propaganda from the cable companies, I think the technology does not exist to determine what channel you are tuned into from outside of the house, or for that matter, if your TV is even on. I don't know if the "filters" can selectively only send the channels you've paid for or not without adversely affecting the quality and strength of the cable signal.

Now, I'm not advocating stealing the services of the cable companies. I would not do that myself and certainly don't recommend it either. It's illegal.

Goes-hmmm

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Goes-hmmm, seersucker suit:
How are they going to find out you have one of these boxes? Search your house? Plant a video camera so they can see what you are watching? Get your neigbors to report you? Believe me, if you are stealing their signal, they will prosecute for "Theft of Services", at least they do around here.

Despite the scare tactics and propaganda from the cable companies, I think the technology does not exist to determine what channel you are tuned into from outside of the house, or for that matter, if your TV is even on. I don't know if the "filters" can selectively only send the channels you've paid for or not without adversely affecting the quality and strength of the cable signal.

Now, I'm not advocating stealing the services of the cable companies. I would not do that myself and certainly don't recommend it either. It's illegal.

Goes-hmmm

You're right. They can't tell. The only real thing keeping a determined person from stealing cable (off an untrapped line) is their personal ethics or stupidity (you'd be suprised how many people forget to hide their mail order descramblers before a CATV service call.)

Filters (called "traps") can be assembled to block any channel's frequency but they aren't cheap, especially if you add in the cost of having to send someone up the pole everytime a subscriber changes their service package. There has to be a pretty good chance of abuse before the cost can be justified.

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FaithHopeLove
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Regarding descramblers: I actually just found out recently that the descrambler filters out everything but the channel you're on. IOW, you are getting ALL of the stations sent through the cable simultaneously. I used to wonder how they managed this trick - I flip the channel and *instantly* see what's on it. No wait time. Honestly, I could never figure it out.

We were studying network connectivity and how different computers send their data streams down the pipeline at different frequencies, yet the computer on the other end knows how to separate them with these filters.

Faith "descrambled eggs" Love

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ravensbane
The First USA Noel


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Cable companies CAN tell what you're receiving. At least, some digital cable providers have such capabilities here in L.A.

My service can get a read-out of which of my three hooked-up company-supplied cable boxes has been inadvertantly unplugged before I specify on the phone and re-enable the right box from the office.

In fact I have been told on the phone "Wait...we show that's still not working. Let me try resetting it." when it fact their attempt HAS failed.

It's actually a bit creepy... [Roll Eyes]

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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All a descambler really does is remove a thin band of frequency that's been placed real close to the frequency of the channel that's being scrambled. That frequency carries a signal that distorts those signals close to it in the broadband. So a descrambler is really just a glorified filter that finds those distorting signals and chips out the frequency that carries them.
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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by ravensbane:
Cable companies CAN tell what you're receiving. At least, some digital cable providers have such capabilities here in L.A.


Only if one of their boxes tell them.
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shoebox
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ursa Major:
Yes, you can legally use your own descrambler to recieve premium channels. However, you're still legally required to compensate the cable company for that content (at the same rate charged if you were using their box).

All the email was saying is that instead of paying the cable company $5 or whatever amount a month to rent their cable box you can buy your own, thus saving lots of money over time. It is not advertising boxes to illegally descramble channels you are not paying for.

Kevin

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ravensbane
The First USA Noel


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The bottom line is that if you live in an apartment, condo, or co-op; every time the cable company is in the main box for the whole building, there's a good chance that they will do a meter read on as many units as they have time for and will detect illegal usage no matter whether you're using their cable box or not.

--------------------
"Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives."
Dr. Charles Fisher, psychoanalyst and sleep researcher.

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Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by ravensbane:
The bottom line is that if you live in an apartment, condo, or co-op; every time the cable company is in the main box for the whole building, there's a good chance that they will do a meter read on as many units as they have time for and will detect illegal usage no matter whether you're using their cable box or not.

I've never heard of such a thing, but I've been out of the biz for 5 years. All we could tell was whether they were hooked up or not; there wasn't any way to tell what the subscriber was doing with the signal once it entered their home unless they had a company cable box.
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Midway-Rare Burger Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by FaithHopeLove:
Midway Bill: You crack me up. Seriously. Almost every post...

Hey FHL thanks! [Smile]
Waitasec, even my post about when someone hit & run my pickup while I was at granpa's funeral and it scared the dog and he jumped out the window and ran away and we never found him and after the funeral the manager took me aside and told me it was an empty casket 'cause grampa's body was Fed Ex'd to Minneapolis not Midway 'cause someone put the wrong sticker on the box and when I got home I found out they canceled Crisis Center with Kellie Martin!

Midway "am I some kind of nfbsk'n clown?" Bill

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by shoebox:
All the email was saying is that instead of paying the cable company $5 or whatever amount a month to rent their cable box you can buy your own, thus saving lots of money over time. It is not advertising boxes to illegally descramble channels you are not paying for.

I don't share your faith in humanity (alas!) I think that the ad was very clearly appealing to the class of people who once had cable, don't have it now, but still have the physical connection, and who think they can get "free tv."

Maybe I'm being too cynical. But I've seen too much of this sort of thing. For instance, little "converter kits" that clarify the "wiggly" signal of some subscription channels. (Heck, when I was young, I used to watch scrambled naughty movies, just for the occasional flash of a breast.)

I'm sure you've seen ads for DVD copiers, specifically for the purpose of stealing movies. (I'm also reminded of kits to turn semi-automatic guns into fully-automatic weapons...)

Sorry to be such a cynic...

Silas ("I just might...I just might...Yes I might trust you!") Sparkhammer

--------------------
When on music's mighty pinion, souls of men to heaven rise,
Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.

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